The Panel Study of Income Dynamics is the premier dataset in the U.S. for studying how intergenerational processes contribute to individual well-being because of its prospective, repeated measures of individuals'economic characteristics, health, and living arrangements, its genealogical design, and its long panel length. This project designs and collects a 12 minute Family Roster and Family Transfer Module added to the 2013 PSID interview. This innovative module provides new, public-use data to understand the mechanisms by which economic advantage is transmitted across generations and makes the PSID the only long-term panel representative of the full U.S. population equipped for the study of life course and multigenerational exchanges of time, money and co-residence. The project has five objectives: First, we design a data collection that rosters all living children and parents of the heads and spouses of PSID households, obtains basic socio-demographic information on each such relative and collects two types of transfers: a) recent time and money transfers between PSID Heads and Wives, their older parents, and their adult children and b) larger transfers made at any time in the past, including help with college expenses, first home purchase, and other transfers of wealth. Second, we use these data to analyze how families share resources, with a focus on the effects of wealth and unemployment shocks on transfers between family members. Third, we link a subsample of PSID children and parents with information on transfers collected in 1988 and in the new module in 2013 to: a) examine variation in giving/receiving across families at two points in time and b) assess whether children who received time or money assistance from parents earlier in life are more likely to give help to parents later in life. Fourth, we explore the relative importance of two forms of transfers that parents make to their adult children - investing in children's higher education and providing inter vivos wealth transfers - in generating well-documented intergenerational correlations in economic attainment. Finally, we use the information collected in the roistering of parents, parents-in-law, and children to explore the impact of attrition on the overall characteristics of the PSID sample, on the intergenerational correlations in attainment, and on estimates of intergenerational transfers of time and money.

Public Health Relevance

The PSID is the only long-term national panel equipped to study life course and multigenerational aspects of health and well-being. The proposed project will expand the scientific value of the PSID for the study of intergenerational family dynamics, including the investments parents make in their adult children's education and later life economic well-being and the care children give to older parents. These data will enhance researchers'ability to understand transfers of time and money across generations and over the life course, as well as provide data to help assess mechanisms for the transmission of economic advantage across generations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Research Project (R01)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-SSPS-H (09))
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Phillips, John
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University of Michigan Ann Arbor
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Ann Arbor
United States
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